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Reducing Bias in Trainee Assessment

Bias in assessment can negatively affect trainees in a variety of ways. Fair and unbiased assessment is essential to ensure competency, provide equal opportunities, and encourage respect for all learners regardless of their individual characteristics. This post details five common types of bias related to the assessment of trainees and strategies educators can use to mitigate them. 

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Formative Feedback Strategies that Foster Learner Growth

Formative feedback in medical education involves observing the trainee’s performance within a certain domain and comparing it against an expected standard. Formative feedback should be clear, specific, timely, actionable, and based on observed activity or behaviors. In undergraduate medical education, the 13 American Association of Medical Colleges core entrustable professional activities (Core EPAs) are one example of a structure for designing medical education curricula, providing formative feedback, and creating expectations for trainees. Formative feedback allows educators to reinforce the importance of applying textbook knowledge and incorporating continued learning to improve patient care and health outcomes. 

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Helping Students Master their Mindset through Metacognition

Imagine the following: You teach anatomy and your learners are rapidly approaching their first exam. One of your learners waits until the last few days before the exam to start studying. Once she starts, she only spends an hour or two each day reviewing, and primarily reviews from the PowerPoint slides rather than going into the laboratory. When she visits the laboratory, she brings a list of structures to identify and checks them off one by one as she studies a dissection prepared by teaching assistants. On the day of the exam, she receives a poor exam grade because she was unable to remember the names of specific structures, or their relationship to one another. When she receives her grade, she is surprised because she used the same strategies that have always worked for her in other courses. What went wrong?

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Understanding and Improving the Clinical Learning Environment 

In 2009, researchers compared maternal complications of delivery and stratified the complication rates into quintiles of residency programs based on where the delivering obstetrician completed their training. In comparing the quintile with the highest complication rate to the quintile with the lowest complication rate, there was a 3.3% absolute risk reduction in maternal complications. It matters where your obstetrician completed their residency.

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Backward Design in Competency-Based Medical Education

Educators may now be familiar with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s (ACGME) recognition of competency-based medical education through their introduction of Milestones for Residents and Fellows.

However, members of clinical competency committees and other stakeholders responsible for developing curriculum in graduate medical education may wonder how to design learning experiences that are indeed competency-based, especially those who may not have had formal training in curriculum design. Carraccio and colleagues developed a four-step process for operationalizing competency-based medical education that ACGME referenced in their Milestones Guidebook. 

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Announcing the CEDAR Community Blog Inaugural Editorial Review Board

We are pleased to announce the inaugural members of our Saint Louis University School of Medicine Center for Educator Development, Advancement, and Research (CEDAR) community blog editorial review board!  

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Announcing the CEDAR Community Blog

Welcome to the Saint Louis University School of Medicine Center for Educator Development, Advancement, and Research Community Blog.

Read More About the CEDAR Community Blog 

About Our Blog

Our peer-reviewed CEDAR community blog will feature evidence-based posts championing scholarly teaching and learning practices, authored by SLU School of Medicine faculty, staff and trainees. The CEDAR community blog will occasionally feature outside invited authors. This work will foster ongoing connectedness and showcase the expertise of our medical and biomedical educator community.  

Faculty, staff and trainees interested in contributing to our CEDAR community blog will receive a blog post template with instructions for preparing the post. Collaborative authorship teams are welcome. Upon submission, posts will undergo peer review by our Editorial Review Board. All posts must successfully complete the peer review and revision process prior to publication. Publication is not guaranteed until the peer review and revision is complete.  

Editor-in-chief: Kristina Dzara, Ph.D.

Editorial Review Board: Our Editorial Review Board comprises five members holding education roles at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and SSM Health.

Blog authors: We are currently recruiting blog authors.

For authorship inquiries, contact editor-in-chief Kristina Dzara, Ph.D., via email.